ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Implementation of Community Forest Rights

The Vidarbha region of Maharashtra presents a unique case in the implementation of community forest rights where much of the region’s potential community forest rights claims have been recognised in the name of gram sabhas under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. The key factors like the collective action of gram sabhas , the role of non-governmental organisations, grassroots organisations, and state implementing agencies, and their collaboration in advancing the implementation of cfr are explained here. There is need to support the upscaling of cfr across India, and to analyse the broader implications for forest resource governance at a national scale.

Rights-based Approaches to Development in Odisha

Two strategies employed by non-governmental organisations that are key to a rights-based approach to development are examined, ensuring the active engagement of state duty-bearers and building alliances at multiple levels. The aim is to understand how sustainable alliances between NGOs, the state, communities, and other stakeholders are built at the grass-roots level. The findings indicate the importance of ensuring the active participation of communities in development activities, especially through continuous interactions with government duty-bearers and networking with different grass-roots groups.

Origin of Conservation Refugees

The conservation of biodiversity and natural resources can help offer a sustainable supply of goods and services to fulfil the right of people to development and livelihood. However, the conservation record is not inspiring in India and across the world, when its social, economic, and cultural impacts on local people are considered. Conservation projects that exclude local people may conserve natural resources to an extent but not people’s access to livelihoods. By being a densely populated country, India cannot encourage the strategy of “pristine nature” in its conservation initiatives.

Politics of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme

There is documentary evidence of the degeneration of the scientific basis of dealing with tubercul0sis as a public health problem in India. The outstanding research on TB in the past must not be forgotten by the authors of "Resource Optimisation for Tuberculosis Elimination in India" (EPW, 7 May 2016).

Beyond Embankments

The recent floods in Kashmir and Uttarakhand are an eye-opener—short term preventive measures like embankments should be replaced by strengthening of the institutional mechanism and improvement in forecasting and information disseminating systems.

Delivering Development

 Nongovernments. NGOs and the Political Development of the Third World by Julie Fisher; first published by Kumarian Press, US, Indian reprint, Rawat, Jaipur, 2003; pp XII+234, Rs 575

Shalishi in West Bengal

Traditional community/village level dispute resolution systems still coexist with formal processes of justice and administration. The `shalishi' is one such method of arbitration in West Bengal that has been used by NGOs to intervene effectively in settling domestic violence cases. Shalishi scores over the more formal legal avenues of dispute resolution because of its informal set up. But deriving its legitimacy as it does from the conventional norms and values of the community it works in favour of keeping the family intact, often compromising feminist notions of empowerment.

NGOs, Agencies and Donors in Participatory Conservation

With much of the emphasis in recent discussions on India's parks being on issues of community participation, this paper instead directs its attention to how the internal dynamics of government agencies and the relationships between NGOs, agencies and donors can influence the conduct of conservation programmes. These issues are examined through a case study of the India Ecodevelopment Project at Rajiv Gandhi National Park. While the emphasis in this paper is on the ecodevelopment programme, it raises wider issues for park management in India.

Intervening for Empowerment

Building Women’s Capacities: Interventions in Gender Transformations edited by Ranjani K Murthy; Sage, New Delhi, 2001; pp 383, Rs 280.

Rural Development: Role of State

How successful have government interventions been in fostering rural development by encouraging people's participation and NGO activity? A first step in sustained rural development lies in ending the historical deprivation of communities and peoples long marginalised.

Protest against Dominant Socio-Cultural Norms

The experience of some NGOs reveals a gradual shrinking of space for rights-related work and any form of protest against mainstream cultural and social norms. Such organisations, especially those working on gender or sexuality-based discrimination, are becoming increasingly vulnerable to attacks from several quarters. It remains to be seen whether progressive groups and individuals are able to see the pattern and come together. But feminist groups, as well as many men, are increasingly joining hands in this struggle.

Stifling the NGOs

While NGOs have come to the fore following an increasing citizens' awareness of their rights, the state has tended to treat them with distrust and even hostility, seeking through legislative means to curb their activities and strike down their rights.

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